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Journalist writes notes for his own obituary from deathbed

A regional daily journalist who became his paper’s obituary writer penned the notes for his own eulogy from his hospital deathbed.

Chris Ferguson, of Dundee daily The Courier, died last Friday aged 60 following a major heart attack six weeks previously.

His journalistic swansong would be the notes for his own obituary, dictated from his hospital bed and published in Monday’s edition of the DC Thomson title.

Chris, pictured below, had previously created a new obituaries team for the Courier and sister title the Press & Journal, and led the coverage of the late Queen Elizabeth’s death in 2022.

Dundee-born Chris’s 41-year career in journalism began in 1983 as a trainee at the Courier and Evening Telegraph’s Perth office

His journalistic debut was a report of his days as a council refuse collector, part of the crew responsible for “the fastest bin round in Perth”.

After a brief spell editing the Deeside and Donside Pipers, he returned to Angus to launch The Arbroath Guide and Carnoustie Leader.

He rejoined the Courier as sub-editor at the Kingsway plant in 1995, before a switch back to reporting.

In 2021, when DC Thomson restructured its Dundee and Aberdeen newsrooms creating mini publishing teams working across both sites, Chris pitched the idea of a new, dedicated obituaries team.

Chris was joined by Lindsay Bruce from Aberdeen and the pair “reinvented” obituaries for the Courier and Press & Journal.

A year into his work managing the new team came the most high-profile death of the 21st century – the loss of Queen Elizabeth II.

Chris’s unrivalled knowledge, both of the monarchy and the late Queen’s time in the north of Scotland, enabled him to create a 108-page supplement of her life which Courier editor David Clegg described as “a milestone in an already remarkable career.”

Said David:  “In my opinion, his incredible coverage of the death of Her Majesty the Queen in September 2022 was the moment The Courier’s proud print legacy and exciting digital future meshed together most perfectly.

“It is a testament to his remarkable talent that Chris was equally at home in newsprint or cyberspace.  I learned an incredible amount from him and will miss him dearly.”

Graham Huband, managing editor at DC Thomson, added: “A funny, erudite, kind and wise man who made every day at DC Towers that little bit brighter and easier for colleagues who admired and respected him in equal measure.”

Chris passed away peacefully on 10 May having been admitted to Golden Jubilee National Hospital in Clydebank on Good Friday. He leaves wife Carolyn, children Caitlin and Calum, and grandson Isaac.